Wednesday, July 6, 2022
NewsScottish NewsTwo hundred years after Waterloo, Napoleon is alive and well - and...

Two hundred years after Waterloo, Napoleon is alive and well – and living in Fife

NAPOLEON Bonaparte is alive and well – and enjoying retirement in a small town in Scotland.

And he plans to mark the 200th anniversary of French defeat at Waterloo by working on his garden in Torryburn, Fife.

The 68-year old is the fourth – and last – member of his family to be given the unusual name, a tradition which began with a family row in 1886.

“Nap” as he’s known by pals, is the fourth – and last – Scottish Napoleon


The retired electrical engineer, full name Napoleon Bonaparte Sinclair Smith, is even 5ft 6ins, exactly the same height as the First Emperor of France.

Napoleon – known by friends and family as “Nap” – once made a pilgrimage to Napoleon’s tomb.

The unusual monicker has also resulted in him receiving preferential treatment during holidays in France and Spain.

Nap’s great-grandparents came from the tiny hamlet of Quatre Bras in Lybster, Caithness, which was named after a battle in the Napoleonic wars.

The place name may have inspired George Sinclair’s decision to christen Nap’s grandfather the first Scottish Napoleon in 1886. The name was used by two subsequent generations.

Nap’s birth certificate


Nap said: “My name didn’t really bother me. When you know it’s your grandfather’s name you don’t really bother.

“I’ve never had any bother with my name. I took up judo at 13. Once they knew I was OK at it I never got any bother.

“It can be a pain in the neck when you’re filling in a form. People think you’re having them on.”

Nap added: “I visited Napoleon’s tomb in Paris about 20 years ago, my brother-in-law said, ‘You need to go, you look just like him’.

“It’s quite good when you go abroad, especially Paris. They go, ‘Oh, beautiful name’. It’s good when you’re booking restaurants and things.

“I was in Majorca at a bank and they asked to see my passport and I was rushed right to the front of the queue.”

Despite the major events to mark the anniversary, Nap will be keeping things low key today (Thu).

His name has opened doors in France and helped him jump queues in Spain


“I won’t be celebrating the anniversary,” he said. “We’re sorting the garden putting slabs down so we’ll be concentrating on that.”

Nap is married to Anne and has two children and two grandchildren, none of whom bear the famous name.

He said: “I didn’t exactly decide against calling either of my children Napoleon. I think my wife decided. It was a joint decision.”

Nap’s cousin, Janetta Christie, 76, is the family expert on the Scottish Napoleons.

Nap’s grandfather was also a Napoleon


Her investigations have revealed that a “domestic” between Nap’s great-grandfather, George Sinclair and his wife, may have led to the naming decision.

Janetta said: “George Sinclair went to the records office after a family argument, perhaps over the naming of his eighth baby.

“His wife was calling out after him “You can call him Napoleon Bonaparte if you wish!”

Related Stories